By Andrew Cantwell
The seat of La Trobe has weathered Labor’s storm across Melbourne with Jason Wood retaining his seat in Saturday’s Federal Election.
Mr Wood retained the seat of with an increased majority after preferences, capturing 45.3 per cent of the primary vote and securing the seat from marginal status.
With a slight swing against of under one per cent in the primary vote, Mr Wood managed over 58 per cent of the ‘two candidate preferred’ count, according to electoral commission counting as at 5pm Monday – an increase of 3.5 per cent over his 2019 result.
The win will be Mr Wood’s sixth term in the seat.
Pre-poll, mail and absentee votes had still to be counted.
Labor’s Abhimanyu Kumar collected just over 28 per cent of the primary vote, with a two candidate preferred tally of 41.4 per cent.
Former Cardinia Shire councillor and Greens candidate Michael Schilling got 9.6 per cent of the primary votes counted Sunday – an increase in the Greens vote of over two per cent.
The biggest swing recorded on Sunday was to the United Australia Party, with an increase of four percent, taking nearly seven percent of the primary vote.
Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party recorded a slight swing against, taking under five percent of the primary vote, with the Animal Justice Party (2.4 per cent), Liberal Democrats (2.1 per cent) and Australian Federation Party mopping up remaining votes.
Mr Wood first won La Trobe in 2004, and was unseated for a term from 2010-2013 by Labor’s Laura Smyth.
An assistant minister under Peter Dutton in the former Coalition government, Mr Wood’s strong result may see him play a larger role in the Opposition shadow ministry, should Mr Dutton win the Liberal Party leadership in coming days.
In the neighbouring seat of Monash, long-serving Liberal member Russell Broadbent has been returned, but with a reduced ‘two candidate’ majority of about 52.6 per cent, down 4.2 per cent on his 2019 count.
And in Casey seat, former House Speaker and retiring Liberal member Tony Smith looks was succeeded by fellow Liberal Aaron Violi with a ‘two candidate’ majority of 51.5 per cent, down 3.2 per cent on the 2019 vote.